We are obsessed with flawless skin. Forget about white or black, a clear skin looks beautiful and gives a lot of confidence. A skin problem is a nightmare as it won’t go away easily. Melasma or hyperpigmentation is one common condition, faced by both women and men in all age groups. Though the problem is more common in women post pregnancy, men are also not spared of this problem. I am one such example, struggling with Melasma for more than a decade now, though I have found a solution. After having countless moments of stress and demotivation, I am writing about how to cure face pigmentation or melasma to help millions who feel horrible like me.
The black-brown patches on the cheeks, forehead and the upper lip are melasma or pigmentation spots. Skin discoloration hurts confidence and must be treated. Remember that melasma is different from tanning. Tanning occurs uniformly on the face, however, pigmentation occurs in those areas where melanin production is higher than normal. There can be multiple reasons for melasma such as hormonal changes post pregnancy, stress, sun exposure and abrasive cosmetics. Whatever the reason, you deserve a clear skin, and that’s what I am trying to do through this post.
The Impact of Melasma on Your Life
Melasma breaks you from inside in parts. The moment you are in the front of the mirror after a shower or anytime during the day, you feel like crying. The face looks ugly, and you imagine whether you can see your real, bright face ever again. When you step outside and see clear faces without the ugly marks, you feel like giving up your life and walking away.
Face pigmentation hurts more on an emotional level as your face is the first impression. It’s a reflection of your personality, and people remember you from your face. When someone asks you about the dark patches on your face, especially cheeks- You slip into depression. I did as I didn’t know a way then to get rid of the ugly patches.
Many doctors recommend topical day and night creams to treat melasma that contains substances such as kojic acid and hydroquinone to brighten the skin. The facial skin is quite delicate and therefore, cannot sustain the abrasives present in most OTC melasma creams. I have a dark skin and have been struggling with melasma for over ten years now, however, I started treating the condition two years ago. Living with face pigmentation and melasma feels horrible. No better words to express that feeling.
My Personal Advice to Cure Face Pigmentation
My melasma is getting better now, and I hope to erase it completely soon. The remedies for melasma I am sharing are from my personal experiences and not a copy paste. If you follow these tips, you will start noticing a gradual change in the texture and feel of your facial skin. Before you start to cure face pigmentation, you need to remember a few facts that help in the long run. You can expect realistic expectations from the pace of progress, and then, everything becomes easier to handle. Take a look:
Curing Melasma Takes Time
Erasing melasma is a time-intensive process and may take months or even years. I know I am being too honest, but there is no point misguiding you. Expect noticeable results at least after six months and not before. The skin will heal gradually and overdoing any remedy can’t bring faster results. Patience is the only key here.
Chemical Bleaching and Makeup can Corrode Your Skin
Many people go for chemical bleaching, peeling and even laser treatment to get rid of hyperpigmentation. Most of the melasma creams contain harmful chemicals that can cause skin irritation, allergies, and burns in serious cases. The last thing you would want on your hyperpigmented face is a skin burn. That’s tough to combat. You would then require starting all over.
I ended up burning my cheeks at a time, trying to treat melasma that added up to my skin healing time. In my opinion, please stay away from chemical creams and bleaches. Moreover, you may also have to stop wearing makeup until the treatment continues. Remember that natural remedies to cure hyperpigmentation are the best as they have no side-effects when done correctly. They are slow, but the results are fruitful and permanent. For any natural remedy to work, make sure that no artificial ingredients present in your face cream or face wash that can interfere with skin healing.
Sweat and Sun are Your Enemies
If your face sweats a lot and you don’t take measures to protect your face from sunlight, you are slowing down the process to cure melasma. Unprotected exposure to the sun triggers excess melanin production on your face, and that said, pigmentation worsens. Sweating can make your face dull in general and in melasma, it makes your face appear more black.
Remedies Must Last a Lifetime
There is a reason why Melasma can reappear anytime, even after disappearing completely. You must learn that pigmentation can come and go in the absence of appropriate skin care techniques. After a technique works for you, never stop. It may be frustrating to continue repeating a home remedy time and again, however, the results speak.
Do this Before You Start to Cure Face Pigmentation
Pigmentation affected skin has a unique problem. Every time you wash your face, it stretches and gives a rough, peeled-up appearance. You can see hard cracks that appear black. If you don’t apply a moisturizer afterward, you feel uncomfortable. There is a feeling that someone is stretching your face, which is simply awkward. Melasma skin is sensitive and therefore, you need to prepare it for any home remedy. Do this one trick:
Wash your face with brown vinegar, every single time to cure face pigmentation.
How to Wash Face With Brown Vinegar
It may stink a bit, therefore, you need to cover the smell with a natural cream or aloe vera gel. Avoid white vinegar or you may end up burning the affected area due to highly acidic nature. Only use brown vinegar as it helps in removing the dead skin cells on your face in layers, helping you reveal the brighter and new layers underneath. It’s affordable and is also readily available in stores. Use the step-by-step process:
Wash your face with clean, lukewarm water to unclog the pores blocked by dead skin cells. You can use a herbal, moisturizing face wash. All in all,
- Mix equal parts of brown vinegar in water
- Dip a cotton swab and gently dab all over your face
- Leave your face as such for no more than 15 minutes
- Wash with cold water to close the pores again.
When you apply lukewarm water, the skin pores unblock to an extent. The vinegar can then reach deeper layers of the skin to cause the desired lightening action. Lastly, washing the face with cold water helps in reaping the skin lightening benefits.
Note: Never apply raw brown or white vinegar to your face. Your skin may burn. Always dilute with an equal amount of water. Moreover, stop using hard water on your face as the salts can worsen melasma. Always use clean, potable water for washing or treating the face.
After a month or so, you can see a visible improvement in the look and feel of your skin. No more cracks or a stretched feeling. Now it’s time to start using the actual home remedies. It is advisable to start any home remedy to brown-vinegar treated skin from my personal experience.
Wash the face with lukewarm water before you start any remedy.
I am spilling out everything I know about Melasma. I saw the difference after trying these remedies and I hope you too will share a similar feeling. This is going to be a long blog post, so sit back and relax. You can also bookmark for further reading. Here we go on the journey to cure face pigmentation.
13 Natural Remedies to Cure Face Pigmentation
1. Lemon-Aloevera-Honey-Sugar Scrub
Preferable Time- Night
Estimated time to apply- 15 minutes
This super-technique can help you erase hyperpigmentation faster than any other mentioned in the blog post. Lemons are rich in Vitamin C and has skin lightening properties whereas aloevera contains plenty of Vitamin-E and skin friendly ingredients. When combined with honey, the solution helps in removing the hyperpigmented dead cells and moisturize the skin to leave a smoother, brighter skin.
- 1 Lemon
- Aloevera Gel or Juice
- Sugar granules
- Cut the lemon into half and squeeze the juice in a small bowl.
- Add 1 tbsp aloe vera gel and 1 tbsp honey
- Take another slice of lemon with sugar granules on the top
- Dip this slice in the lemon+aloevera+honey solution
- Gently rub it, only on the pigmented areas of the face
- Leave it as such for 15 minutes
- Rinse the face with cold water
- Let your face air dry
2. Potato Juice
Preferable time- Anytime
Time Required- 30 minutes
Though potatoes are our favorite food, only a few know about its skin lightening properties. Potatoes are rich in Vitamins A, B, C, E which are essential for a healthy skin. Not only potatoes are effective in treating melasma, but can also help with skin burns and blemishes. To use potato juice to cure melasma, use the following two methods:
- Grate a potato to extract the juice
- Use a cotton ball to apply the juice on the pigmented areas
- Leave it as such for 30 minutes
- Rinse with cold water and let your face air dry
- Slice a potato into half
- Put a few water drops on a slice
- Apply the slice all over your face, gently rubbing it for 15 minutes
- Wash your face with clean water
- Let your face air dry
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Preferred Time: Night
Estimated Time: 15 minutes
Apple cider vinegar is rich in acetic acid, which is an excellent ingredient to combat hyperpigmentation. Not only it’s beneficial for hair and stomach, but also for the skin. Simply mix water and apple cider vinegar in a 1:1 ratio and apply on the pigmented areas of the face using a cotton ball. You can also rinse your face with the solution without using cotton. Let the solution work on your face for 10-15 minutes. Finally, rinse with cold water.
4. Onion Juice
Preferred time: Anytime
Estimated time: 15 minutes
Onion juice can work wonders to cure melasma, if applied twice a day. Simply cut an onion, dip the cut surface in water and apply on the affected areas on the face. You can also add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to onion juice before applying. Rub the solution on the face for a while, leave it such for 15 minutes and wash your face afterward. Being rich in antioxidants and sulphur compounds, onion juice helps in fading away the pigmented marks on the face.
Preferred Time- Night
Estimated Time- 15-20 minutes
Turmeric is an age-old remedy to fight skin infections and treat hyperpigmentation. It contains circumin, which is responsible for its skin lightening properties. Many people also drink turmeric latte to boost immunity. To use turmeric for skin pigmentation, follow these steps:
- Mix 10 tbsp milk to 5 tbsp turmeric
- Regulate the amount until a thick paste forms
- Apply the paste on melasma affected areas
- Leave it for a while say, 20 minutes
- Gently wash your face with water
Preferred Time- Night
Cucumber is an excellent skin lightener and can be your bedtime remedy to cure hyperpigmentation. Unlike other remedies that require preparation, cucumber can be readily applied on the face with all benefits intact. If you are short of time to get your hands on a remedy, use cucumber juice to cut pigmentation marks. Simply cut a cucumber, dip a slice in water and then, softly rub on the pigmented areas of the face. You can either wash your face or sleep with the cucumber juice on.
Similar to cucumber, applying tomatoes to your skin is an easy activity to fight hyperpigmentation without investing much time. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and their acidic composition can help you shred off the dead cells and achieve a flawless complexion. Simply cut a tomato and rub the pulp on the affected areas of the skin. Rub tomato pulp on your face for 15 minutes and don’t forget to rinse your face afterward. It feels sticky!
8. Aloe Vera-Neem Juice
Though aloe vera has mucilaginous polysaccharides to remove face pigmentation, I found the remedy to be slow in my case. From a personal experience, aloe vera can help in preventing roughness due to melasma, however, the soothing effect of aloe vera can’t be denied. Baba Ramdev, one of the renowned Yoga Gurus in the world experimented aloe vera gel on many patients. As happened in my case, he found that there are some melasma cases where aloe vera application has little to no effect. Then, he came up with a technique that combines Neem and Aloe Vera juice to erase melasma. Here’s the technique:
- Crush Neem leaves to extract juice or buy Neem juice from the market
- Mix equal amounts of Neem juice and aloe vera juice to form a thin paste
- Apply them to the pigmented areas at night before sleeping
- Wash in the Morning
- Perform the activity daily
I am yet to try this technique. Since most natural remedies don’t have a side effect, try this technique and please share the results in the comments section.
Milk is a staple in every household and can be put to good use for treating pigmentation marks. Calcium and lactic acid present in milk can help in suppressing melanocyte activity, thereby causing the pigmentation to fade. Take 3 tablespoons milk in a bowl and add a few drops of honey. Soak a cotton ball in the solution and apply it evenly to your face. Do this activity first thing in the morning and then, take a shower.
Exfoliation is a must when you are trying to remove melasma patches from the face. Papayas contain an enzyme called Papain that helps in removing the dead skin cells. You can use either raw or ripe papaya to perform exfoliation. Using papaya to treat hyperpigmentation is advisable on weekends, when you have spare time or before you sleep.
Simply mash the papaya to extract the juice. Rather than applying only papaya, you can also add other skin brightening ingredients to make a mixture such as lemon juice, turmeric and honey. The efficacy of the remedy increases this way. Place the mixture evenly on your face and wait for 20 minutes for the depigmentation action. Then, rinse the face with lukewarm water. Pat dry with a clean towel or cloth. Use the papaya mask at least once a week for best results.
11. Orange Peels
Pigmentation can aggravate during winter and that’s when oranges come to rescue. You can either make orange peel powder yourself or can buy from the supermarket. Either ways, it helps to get rid of melasma. To make orange peel powder, dry the peels in sunlight and grind them until reduced to a fine powder. To use it on pigmented skin, follow these instructions:
- Add orange peel powder to a mixture of milk, lemon and honey
- Mix the powder until you see a consistent mixture
- Apply the paste on your skin
- After 20 minutes, rinse thoroughly
- Repeat at least thrice a week
Apart from these natural remedies, you can also try strawberry mask, tea tree oil, olive oil, banana-guava mask, oatmeal, sandalwood, rosewater and avocados. I am not making a specific mention as other methods are either time-consuming or the ingredients can burn a hole in your pocket. Simple home remedies can help you get rid of face pigmentation or melasma and therefore, you must pick one or two from the list and be regular in application. Skipping for even a day can reverse the effects.
Caring for Hyperpigmented Skin
Achieving great results take time, however, spoiling them can take less than a moment. Treating melasma is no exception. For these home remedies to work in your favor, you must:
Apply Sunscreen Outdoors
Wear a SPF (Sun Blocking factor) 30 sunscreen whenever you go out in the sun. Reapply every two hours, if required. Overexposure to sunlight can trigger excessive melanin production, taking all your efforts down the drain.
Going to the beachside? Always cover your head with a wide brimmed hat to avoid the sun spoiling your skin. You can also use an umbrella instead.
Eat plenty of A, C, E rich foods such as orange, lemon, Indian Gooseberry, Lettuce, Spinach, Lentils, Almonds, Broccoli and Carrots.
Your food intake also determines your skin health. The healthier food you consume, the better your skin gets. While treating melasma, it’s important to consume plenty of green veggies and fruits.
Improve Water Intake
Water helps in keeping your skin hydrated and flushing out the toxins. Drink 2-3 litres of water everyday to stay on track to cure face pigmentation.
Stress can also trigger melanocyte activity and therefore, you need to find a way to keep stress at bay. Try meditation and pranayama to lower your stress levels.
Both men and women can benefit from these tips to cure face pigmentation. Women struggling with melasma post pregnancy must talk to their doctor about birth control pills as hormonal fluctuations can aggravate the condition.
The Floor is Yours Now
What other techniques have you tried to cure face pigmentation?
What’s your favorite remedy on the list?
Have a success story to share?
Please let us know in the comments section. Have a great day.